Beacon U3A online system

See in the text below for clickable links to the Portal and other facilities

The Beacon system was developed by U3A volunteers to provide an online system for administration of membership, groups and finance for UK U3A organisations. Elmbridge U3A uses it to hold, access and process the personal information supplied by you. Without that information we could not operate so it is important to you and to us that it be kept up to date (Our Privacy and Data Protection Policies are attached to the Welcome page of this web site.)

Most Elmbridge U3A members will access Beacon only through the Beacon Members Portal which they can use to:

  • Renew membership
  • Update personal details
  • View Elmbridge U3A Groups

Please note that you will not be able to access the Beacon Members Portal unless you have previously provided your email address. You can check this by looking at your Acknowledgement of Membership or Renewals letter. To get your email address added to the Beacon system please send an email addressed to membership@elmbridgeu3a.org quoting your membership number and phone number. Alternatively please call the membership secretary, Tony Wharton, on: 0208 979 2737.

Renew Membership

Renewal online is available from early October each year.

Payment online must be by PayPal. You do not need to have a permanent PayPal account to do this. (You do create a temporary account but it lasts only until your payment goes through.) As you will see you can simply route a credit or debit card payment via PayPal. For joint members one member can renew both members with a single payment.

Gift Aid

Gift Aiding your donations / subscriptions is entirely optional but if they are not already Gift Aided we very much encourage you to do this. The Gift Aid scheme means that any donations / subscriptions that you make to Elmbridge U3A will be worth 25% more to us; at no cost to you. Higher and additional rate tax payers can also claim back further tax by including Gift Aid payments on their tax return.

Please make sure the box labelled “tick if eligible for Gift Aid” in Beacon is ticked to enable us to reclaim the tax on this and any future donations/subscriptions that you make. In doing so you will be confirming that you agree with the following statements:

  • I want to Gift Aid this and future donations/subscriptions to Elmbridge U3A until further notice
  • I want to Gift Aid any donations/subscriptions made in the past 4 tax years
  • I confirm that I am a UK tax payer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax / Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid Claimed on all my donations/subscriptions in that tax year, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

Please note that, in the case of Joint Membership, it is the Gift Aid status of the person paying that applies and that a single payment covering two Joint Members can be Gift Aided for the full amount.

Update personal details

For joint members only one member need update their address and (main) telephone number. For other information, each member will need to update their own personal details.

View Elmbridge U3A Groups

You can view Elmbridge U3A groups

Access the Portal

To access the portal you will need your Elmbridge U3A membership number and your name, postcode and email as held by us. The system checks the data entered by you against what we have in the Beacon database and it does so very precisely. It is important therefore that the data entered by you exactly matches the data shown on the most recent Renewals/Acknowledgement of Membership Form that was sent to you, including the use of upper and lower case. It is safer to type the data in yourself. Using copy/paste or letting your helpful computer fill in fields has a tendency to perpetuate errors.

To access the portal click: Beacon Elmbridge Members Portal

Once logged-in, if you can see that our record is wrong or out of date then you can either correct it by directly editing the field (e.g. email address) or you can contact the Membership Secretary (email membership@elmbridgeu3a.org or Tel: 0208 979 2737) to make any necessary amendments.

If you have any queries or experience any difficulties then please send an email to the membership secretary at members@elmbridgeu3a.org giving your contact details.

Access By Registered Users

There is information about Beacon and there are user training materials on the Beacon team's website, at beacon.u3a.org.uk

If you are an Elmbridge U3A Committee member or have been registered with the system as a User, you can access the main Elmbridge Beacon system here: Elmbridge Beacon System Administration. The first time you use the system you will need to select Elmbridge as the U3A. Please avoid using public computers (e.g. in a Library) because of the risks posed by accessing the database on insecure networks. If it is safe for Beacon to remember your settings, please tick "This is a private computer". If you, as an authorised user of the Beacon Administration system, have any queries or experience any difficulties then please send an email to the Elmbridge Beacon support team at beaconadmin@elmbridgeu3a.org giving your contact details. {Please remember that you are being given privileged access to membership and other data and must use it solely in order to carry out your assigned responsiblilties for Elmbridge U3A and must not allow it to be accessed by any unauthorised third party.}

A very brief overview of our version of Beacon can be found by clicking on Beacon - a summary.
If you are interested in more detail about the basic Beacon which is now the core of our administrative system, click this link to access the Beacon User Guide and also look at the Beacon Team's own website at beacon.u3a.org.uk
If you are leading a group click this link to access the Group Leader User Guide
If you want to know what lies in store behind the Portal, click this link to access the Member User Guide

Group Leaders' GDPR Talk: You can find a summary of the talk at GDPR Talk and Slides